It's not every day that you are challenged to cook up a Spanish storm in the kitchen, is it? That's what happened this week when the people at Thomas Cook Airlines asked me if I would like to cook a Spanish meal using a traditional slab of Lava Rock. Errrr, yes please?
A few bloggers have been put to this challenge to win a week's holiday in Lanzarote. I've been to Lanzarote once a few years ago and it was great - as was the food, of course. So, the blogger's recipe with the most votes from YOU people wins! So be sure to vote for me if you really love me. I would take you all with me if I could so it's the thought that counts, right?
Okay, let's get on with the recipe now shall we? I'm sure that's what you're here for anyway...
'Succulent chorizo, prawns & chicken are mixed together with Spanish paella and more than enough paprika to create a true fiesta in the mouth!'
I ordered everything I needed using the Sainsbury's home delivery service which was super easy! Before we get onto the ingredients needed, let's heat up our lava rock. Mine was kindly sent to me for the purpose of the post but it's available from Lava Rock Cooking. It makes cooking meats a whole lot easier (and slightly more...entertaining?) so I couldn't wait to get started.
For a scrumptious Spanish paella; you will need:
- 600ml chicken or vegetable stock (2 cubes)
- olive oil
- 125g (4oz) chopped chorizo
- 3-4 chicken breasts
- 1 onion
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 chopped red pepper
- 2tsp paprika
- 250g (8oz) Spanish paella rice
- 4 medium chopped tomatoes
- 75g (3oz) frozen peas
- 250g (8oz) fresh cooked prawns
- handful flat leaf parsley
- optional: chopped lemon wedges for presentation
(Saffron strands are recommended for a classic Spanish paella, however I didn't use any and it came out just as good!)
Firstly, it's time to prepare the stock. I went for chicken flavour and have never dealt with stock cubes before so I was a little confused at first. However, I worked out that 600g would be around 2 cubes. I let the 2 cubes melt into a jug of boiling water and simmer whilst I started on the chicken...
After heating up the lava cooking rock in the oven (and being VERY careful when handling it when hot), I started by cooking my chicken breasts. Immediately, they began cooking and it made handling chicken a little bit more fun. I usually get so grossed out cooking chicken breasts! It didn't take long for them to cook at all!
Next it's time to cook the chorizo! With a little heated oil in the pan, chorizo literally only needs a few minutes to cook and can burn very easily so don't leave it for too long! Next, I added the chicken, paprika and frozen peas. Then in goes the rice! Almost immediately, start adding in the chicken stock liquid that's been simmering away all this time. You might not need it all but if the rice starts to burn or get quite 'thick' or 'sticky' then add a little more.
Finally, in go the prawns! I have never worked with prawns before so definitely had to seek some advice from my dad. Do you wash them? How do you know when prawns are cooked? So many prawn related questions!
I definitely added a lot more than the recommended amount of paprika but it all comes down to personal taste. I love a bit of spicy food as does my dad so I added a bit more to really give the chorizo and chicken some flavour!
For presentation, I added the flat leaf parsley and cut up some lemon wedges for people to use for some extra flavouring before consuming. I feel safe to say that my first ever paella went down an utter treat and not one spoonful was left in that gigantic bowl!
I thought paella would be quite challenging to make but it was actually pretty easy to make and even easier to eat so I'll definitely be making it again soon!
If you fancy helping my dish win the competition, I'll leave this space below to add the widget so you can all vote for mine! I would absolutely L-O-V-E to jet off to Lanzarote and consume paella every day of the week so you know... help a paella loving girl out?! Hehe!